Justice Minister speaks on jury shortage
Justice Minister, Senator Mark Golding, says a policy paper with proposals for improving the jury system is to be disseminated to stakeholders by the end of the week.
In its 2010-2011 annual report, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said the Government must move quickly to fix the jury system as a shortage of persons to serve as jurors is a major contributor to the low case disposal rate in the nation’s courts.
The Office of the DPP also recommended that the daily payment to persons serving as jurors be increased and that changes be made to the guidelines for payment.
Speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM this morning, Senator Golding admitted that not much had changed in relation to the jury system since the period covered by the DPP’s report.
Senator Golding says the policy document is almost complete and he is hoping a bill can be brought to Parliament before the end of the year.
Senator Golding says included in the policy document is a proposal for specific rules which will compel employers to release workers for jury duty.
The Government owes nearly $8 million to 1,725 jurors.
A $500-per-day stipend is currently paid to jurors.
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